British Columbia Hotspots

trailbc.png

I like listening to CBC radio out of Kelowna in the afternoons, and especially appreciate the host informing us during the weather reports of the hottest and coldest places in the province.

Just for fun, I have crunched the numbers using all the 100 or so hourly reporting weather stations in the province to see how often each station was the provincial hot  spot. The numbers shocked me because I did not expect Warfield/Trail to be near the top of the list. I also expected Lillooet and Osoyoos to be closer to the top.

Anyway, here is a list of weather stations that managed to be the hottest place in the province at least once in 2017 (note that several towns have two stations for some reason, one airport station operated by NAV Canada one nearby by Environment Canada):

 

Ashcroft: 48 Squamish: 5 Terrace: 2
Warfield: 40 Victoria (UVic): 5 Victoria (airport): 2
Lytton (RCS station): 36 Abbotsford: 4 Bella Bella: 1
Osoyoos: 23 Burns Bog: 4 Comox: 1
Lillooet: 15 Victoria (Gonzales Hill): 4 Dawson Creek: 1
Kamloops (airport): 14 Agassiz: 3 DeaseLake (airport): 1
Kindakun Rocks: 14 Bonilla Island: 3 DeaseLake: 1
Estevan: 12 Kamloops (auto station): 3 Entrance: 1
Bella Coola: 10 Pemberton: 3 Fort Nelson: 1
Sheringham Point: 10 Port Mellon: 3 Fort Nelson (airport): 1
North Cowichan: 9 Princeton: 3 Kelowna (UBCO): 1
Race Rocks: 9 Sartine: 3 Merritt: 1
Solander Island: 9 Sisters Island: 3 Port Alberni: 1
Hope: 8 Cape St. James: 2 Quesnel: 1
Nelson: 8 Clearwater: 2 Salmon Arm: 1
White Rock: 8 Esquimalt: 2 Sandspit (airport): 1
Pitt Meadows: 7 HoweSound – Pam Rocks: 2 Sparwood: 1
Cumshewa Island: 6 Langara Island: 2 Vancouver (airport): 1
Creston: 5 Point Atkinson: 2 Vancouver(harbour): 1
Lytton (airport): 5 Prince Rupert: 2 Vernon: 1
Nakusp: 5 Puntzi Mountain: 2 West Vancouver: 1
Saturna Island: 5 Sandspit: 2

But here is the real shocker I discovered going a little deeper into the data. Various towns in the southwestern interior argue about who is the hottest place in Canada because they get such hot summers. These are the towns of Osoyoos, Lytton, Lillooet, and Ashcroft, and yet in 2017, Wafield in the Kootenays beat them all. In fact, this West Kootenay town was the provincial hotspot in 19 of July’s 31 days while no other town had more than five. If we only include the hot days in 2017, say like only days were someone hits 30 degrees Celsius, the list looks like the following:

Warfield: 26
Ashcroft: 18
Lytton: 16
Nelson: 3
Kamloops: 3
Osoyoos: 3
Lillooet: 2
Hope: 2
Princeton: 2
Creston: 2
Nakusp: 2
Squamish: 1
Port Alberni: 1
Kelowna: 1
Pitt Meadows: 1

So Warfield was the hot spot 5 times more often during hot summer days than Lillooet and Osoyoos combined! Who would have thunk it!

The radio weather report also likes to list the coldest spot in the province, so for fun, I’ve conducted the same exercise, and the result is as follows:

Burns Lake: 63 Blue River: 7
Fort Nelson (airport): 52 Cranbrook: 6
Dease Lake: 47 Fort Nelson: 6
Tatlayoko Lake: 45 MacKenzie: 4
Yoho National Park: 40 Fort St. John: 3
Clinton: 30 Blackcomb Sliding Centre: 1
Puntzi Mountain: 30 Callaghan Valley: 1
Dease Lake (airport): 20 MacKenzie (airport): 1
Dawson Creek: 16 Prince George: 1
Sparwood: 13 Princeton: 1

One thing that jumps out at me is that Puntzi Mountain, Princeton, Dawson Creek, and Fort Nelson all managed to be the hottest and coldest spots in the province in 2017 at least once.

An important caveat with the cold list above is that it does not reflected by the temperatures given on the CBC in the afternoon because the table above reflects the overnight temperatures. For example, the Chilcotin stations (Tatlayoko Lake and Puntzi Mountain) have the highest diurnal temperature variations (difference between daily lows and highs) in the province by a wide margin such that Tatlayoko Lake is never the coldest place in the province in the afternoon because the temperature always warms up even in the dead of winter. In fact, the afternoon temperatures in the winter months are warmer on average in Tatlayoko than they are in Osoyoos in many years!

So to better reflect the afternoon temperatures, the following table lists the number times each station had the lowest daily maximum temperature in BC in 2017:

Yoho National Park: 61 Blue River: 4
Fort Nelson  (airport): 46 Fort St. James: 4
Fort St. John: 33 Ootsa Lake: 4
Dease Lake (airport): 32 Puntzi Mountain: 4
Fort Nelson: 31 Clinton: 3
Dease Lake: 29 Grey Islet: 3
Cumshewa Island: 15 MacKenzie (airport): 3
Langara Island: 13 Cranbrook (airport): 2
Bonilla Island: 12 MacKenzie: 2
Sartine: 12 Race Rocks: 2
Lucy Island: 11 Smithers: 2
Blackcomb Sliding Centre: 10 Burns Lake: 1
Kindakun Rocks: 10 Dawson Creek: 1
Callaghan Valley: 9 Golden: 1
Solander Island: 9 Herbert Island: 1
Cape St. James: 8 Princeton: 1
Sheringham Point: 8 Rose Spit: 1
Clinton (airport): 7 Terrace: 1
Sparwood: 6 Williams Lake: 1
Cranbrook (auto station): 5

So based upon last year’s data, we would expect Ashcroft to be listed most often as the hottest spot in BC on CBC and Yoho National Park as the most frequent cold spot. I could be wrong, but I suspect that Warfield’s amazing domination during the summer months in 2017 was due to the smoke in the west keeping the temperatures down, and not typical for the summer. In either case, it’s definitely one of the country’s hottest spots.

UPDATE: 2017 was indeed an anomaly for Warfield. Looking at the 2016 data, Warfield was the provincial hotspot for a mere 12 days — and 0 days in July! By contrast, Ashcroft was the BC hotspot for 71 days during the year, including 12 days in July.

Advertisements
Posted in Climate, Geography | Leave a comment

Why We Should Expect Massive 1 in 100 Year Flood Events Almost Every Year in Canada

coldstreamwaterfloodLet’s assume for argument’s sake that there is no global warming or climate change. Clearly the planet is warming and changing, but for mathematical purposes, we will show that even without any climate change, extreme flood events in Canada are very common.

Now, the government has 1,900 river and lake monitoring stations in Canada. In addition, many rivers that were formerly monitored are no longer measured, and still many others have never had river volumes recorded.

We know that bodies of water that are not monitored still flood. Yes, it really floods in the forest if no one is there to see it. And of course, these floods can have devastating impacts on the people living there. The Nazko river west of Quesnel, BC experienced an extreme flood event this year, but the government no longer records river levels, so they estimated the level based upon the West Road River downstream. This estimate was used to generate the followed graph during the height of the 2018 freshet.

NazkoRiver2

Nazkoflood2

There are thousands of lakes and rivers in Canada that have the potential to flood, but they don’t all flood at the same time. Even within the same province, you can have record high flood levels in one area and record low peak river levels in another.

So, assuming no climate change and a mere 3,000 rivers and lakes that could cause property damage in Canada, the statistical average will expect 30 rivers each year to experience a 1 in 100 flood event. Three rivers should experience a 1 in 1000 year flood on an annual basis.

I suspect that the climate is getting wetter, which increases the flood risk, but it’s also very likely that almost all of the perceived increase in flooding is the result of the media not providing enough context. Don’t get me wrong, they do provide good coverage including the fact that individual years cannot be linked to climate change, but with the way the human brain works we don’t easily understand why we can’t link specific flood events to climate change.

If we can understand how common extreme flood events are based upon simple statistics, we can also understand that climate change can only be discussed with much deeper analysis than invoking the spotlight fallacy.

 

 

Posted in Floods | Leave a comment

Islam and Feminism

sarsour

The West has long been a hotbed of rampant sexism, and yet — sadly — it’s getting worse the harder we try to stop it. The gender wage gap is increasing, the president of the USA openly supports abuse of women, and feminists are demonized like never before.

There is really only one way to reverse this disturbing trend toward even more male domination in the world, and that is for the West to embrace Islam wholesale. This might sound like a preposterous idea, but that’s only because you’re feeling uncomfortable about abandoning your sexist thoughts and desires. Many religions and philosophies support women’s rights in theory, but in practice, they are extremely sexist. Islam is the only religion that actually stops the discriminating against women, not just in theory, but in practice.

Here are the top three proofs:

1) All the religions of the world do not have gender balance EXCEPT Islam! Islam is the ONLY religion in the world where men and women are equal in number! Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism are dominated by women while the unaffiliated/non-religious camp is dominated by men. That is not gender balance in either case. Only Islam balances the genders perfectly.

genderreligion

2) Muslim countries elevate women much more than Christian and secular countries in the workplace. For example, the more Islamic a nation is, the more equity between men and women in STEM.

stem2

3) Within the non-Islamic religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism, etc.), increased religiosity correlates strongly with more sexism. Christians and Jews attending Church/Synagogue regularly are more likely to be sexist bigots like Conservative leader Andrew Sheer, while Christians and Jews who hardly ever attend religious services like Justin Trudeau become the face of feminism across the globe.

Islam is the opposite. The practicing Muslims devout enough to don the hijab are such great champions of feminism that they become the face of feminism around the world. That’s why Linda Sarsour ended up being the keynote speaker at the Women’s March in Washington. Meanwhile, the liberal and more secular Muslims like Tarek Fatah, Zuhdi Jasser, and Asra Nomani open support sexist Republican candidates like Donald Trump, and write Islamophobic and sexist articles condemning the champions of women’s rights — such as Linda Sarsour and Hillary Clinton.

Now, maybe you’re not religious at all, so you’re thinking that you are not sexist, but that’s only because you are comparing yourself to Christianity from which most non-religious types come. Being less sexist is not the same as being free of sexism. Only Islam can do that for you. If leaving Islam to become irreligious makes you sexist, embracing Islam will remove your sexism, logically speaking.

Take, for example, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s typical of an ex-Muslim. She was a devout follower of Allah when she was a progressive Labour MP in the Netherlands. Then she abandoned her religion to become an atheist, moved the USA, and immediately got a job working the conservative (and thus sexist) American Enterprise Institute. Keep in mind that this think tank includes the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dinesh D’Sousa. That’s right, when Muslims who support progressive and feminist political parties lose their religion they take a hard right into bigotry. So much so that the same organizations who monitor the actions of the KKK end up putting the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali on a similar hate watch list.

So the choice is yours to make today. You can either continue life as a sexist bigot, or you can embrace the lofty goals of feminism by joining the world’s fastest growing religion. Do not delay because women everywhere are depending on you to be the change they need.

Allahu Akbar!

 

Posted in Feminism, Religion, Satire/Intersectional Feminism | 2 Comments

An Extreme Temperature Weekend in Western North America

Redstone

There were some absolutely amazing diurnal temperature variations over the weekend. Puntzi Mountain, BC (elevation: 910 m) was -8°C Friday afternoon, and then -36.5°C Saturday morning — a 28.5°C drop. Keep in mind that the LARGEST overnight temperature drop at Puntzi Mountain last year was 27.5°C!

The temperature rose to -6.7°C Saturday afternoon — a 29.8°C rise. Keep in mind that the LARGEST daily temperature rise at Puntzi Mountain last year was 28.9°C!

Then the temperature dropped 26.9 degrees to -33.6°C Sunday morning before rising 27.7 degrees to -5.9°C. Then, it dropped an astounding 30.7°C (55°F) overnight to -36.6°C! Keep in mind that the highest overnight temperature drop in BC in 2017 was Merritt when the temperature dropped 29.6°C in August.

Alberta saw even more extreme temperature swings.

Here are the top three:

  1. Hendrickson Creek (1,448 m): a 24 hour change of 38.7°C (-35.9°C in the morning and 2.8°C in the afternoon).
  2. Sundre (1,114 m) : a 24 hour change of 36.9°C (-39.2°C in the morning and -2.3°C in the afternoon).
  3. Claresholm (1,009 m) : a 24 hour change of 35.9°C (-34.1°C in the morning and 1.8°C in the afternoon).

These strong temperature swings were the result of very strong temperature inversions in the morning hours, and then enough sunshine and wind in the afternoon to break the inversion.

Further north, the sunlight is not intense enough to reverse the inversion by the afternoon this time of year, so inversions tend to be more extreme. Around Dawson, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska, the inversion was so strong over the weekend that surface was 60°F (33°C) colder than it was at 2900′ (900 m) above the ground. For Fairbanks, that’s -19°F (-28°C) at the surface and +41°F (5°C) at 2900′ above the ground.

An inversion this extreme is uncommon, but still not a record. That record was set in McGrath, Alaska on Jan 13, 1966 when the surface was 40°C (72°F)  colder than at 855 mb (1180 m above the ground). The surface temperature was -40.7°C (-41.3°F) versus -0.7°C (+30.7°F) at 855 mb.

 

Posted in Climate | Leave a comment

What Does it Take to Trigger an Extreme Cold Alert in Canada?

northernvillage

Much of the east coast of North America is under an extreme cold warning, so that provides an opportunity to add to our weather warning series.

TRIGGER WARNING: We are looking at the thresholds required to trigger weather warnings in Canada. (Previously, we have discussed wind, rainfall, snowfall, and heat.)

As with the rest of the weather extremes, Environment Canada changes the criteria depending on the location. Some of the differences do make sense, such as the assumption that those living in the south are complete wusses, so they will be issued an “extreme cold warning” some 35 degrees Celsius above that of the far north.

Some others are a little more confusing such as the fact that an extreme cold warning is not triggered in Vancouver and Victoria (Canada’s most mild cities) until the temperature or windchill is expected to drop down to -35°C, but in Windsor, Ontario a temperature or windchill of just -30°C will trigger the same warning.

The following map graphically represents the extreme cold threshold differences across Canada.

ecextremecold

 

 

 

Posted in Climate, Weather Warnings | 2 Comments

Wind Warning Thresholds in Canada

bc-storm-seawall-121217

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for parts of British Columbia today. The red on this map shows the affected locations.

windwarning

Now, this is quite interesting because the Vancouver and Victoria areas are under a wind warning while the west coast of British Columbia where winds are expected to be even stronger are not under a warning.

The reason for this difference is that Environment Canada has three different set points for triggering a wind warning across the country. The highest wind areas of British Columbia need 90km/h sustained winds and/or 110km/h gusts to trigger a warning.

Some of other windy locations in Canada (the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Dempster Highway in the Yukon, southwestern Alberta, and the Wreckhouse area of Newfoundland) will be issued a wind warning at 80km/h sustained winds and/or gusts of 100km/h.

The rest of the country has a lower wind warning threshold of 70km/h for sustained winds and/or gusts of 90km/h.

ecwarningmapwind

See also: Rainfall Warning Thresholds in Canada

Posted in Climate | 1 Comment

Rainfall Warning Thresholds in Canada

Previously we have discussed snowfall and heat warnings in Canada and how grossly inconsistent they are across the country.

Fortunately, Environment Canada is much more realistic when it comes to setting rainfall warning thresholds. Such warnings are season dependent, but for today’s exercise I am using “Table 14. Alerting parameters Environment Canada uses for issuing a Long Duration Rainfall Warning in the Summer.

Graphically, the table is represented as follows:

ecwarningmap

Unlike Environment Canada’s heat warnings, this map actually makes sense. Basically, the country is divided into three zones (excluding northern Quebec where warnings aren’t issued):

  1. The rainiest portions of coastal British Columbia.
  2. The British Columbia interior dry belt.
  3. The rest of Canada.
Posted in Climate, Geography | Tagged | 2 Comments